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Cristin A. Boyd Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

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Presentation on theme: "Cristin A. Boyd Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cristin A. Boyd Studies in American Language, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

2  18 years teaching experience  Stilted reading skills at higher levels (high- intermediate/advanced IEP)  Concepts/ideas based mainly on classroom experience  Evidence of S improvement ◦ In class practice ◦ On exams ◦ Comments from Ss ◦ Increased TOEFL (iBT and PB) scores  These skills are for high-int/advd readers  Limited time w/ Ss; main skills I focus on

3  Get side-tracked with individual words?  Misunderstand small & large portions of what they read?  Miss key ideas and concepts?  Take hoooooours to read something that should take 20 minutes?  Insist on understanding e-v-e-r-y w-o-r-d?  Cling too tightly to translators?

4  Very strong desire to understand everything  Words are tangible; ideas often elusive  Native country/culture learning/experience ◦ Math-like learning of language ◦ Bottom-up processing ◦ Heavy focus on vocabulary ◦ Limited T proficiency Limited reading resources ◦ Memorization-focused learning ◦ Reader responsible backgrounds  Word/character-focused L1 (example)

5 mu ('tree') shows a trunk and two leafless branches of a tree. The bottom half of the character may be hanging branches or the roots of a tree.… the character doubles to represent "forest" and triples to represent "dense forest." It joins with the character for "person" to represent "rest,”... mo ('last' or 'top') shows a tree in which the top is marked with a horizontal stroke, while ben ('source' or 'origin') shows a tree in which the root is marked with a horizontal stroke. Relationships between characters complex also From: l

6  Low-level reading/learning ◦ Translation ◦ Intensive rather than extensive reading ◦ Vocabulary words, definitions, meaning, exams ◦ Limited real-life reading practice ◦ Vocabulary learning (vs. acquisition)  Grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary all focus on words

7 W HY IS WORD - LEVEL FOCUS PROBLEMATIC FOR HIGHER LEVEL READERS ? English meaning is not word-based Meaning is found in collections of words (groups of sentences and paragraphs) -- “discourse blocks” (Christensen 1963, Pitkin 1969) -- paragraphs (Kaplan 1972) What are the parts & functions of a paragraph?

8 Fluent readers read quickly & efficiently They do not focus intensively on words They expect & focus on ideas

9 “... students need to learn to read, think and interpret text in news ways” - B. Mikulecky, co-author of Reading Power Series One fundamental ‘new way’ is idea- focused reading

10 FFocusing on ideas ◦R◦Rhetorical features ◦E◦Expectations NNot reading every word UUsing context to understand vocabulary RReading faster & more efficiently RReading through Ambiguity EEmbracing a new “western style” approach to reading (not a complete list)

11 Purpose: Review higher level reading skills; Help socialize Ss to new reading style

12 Everything…. But in particular  Focus on main ideas  Reading faster  Not reading every word  Ambiguity Tolerance ◦ Understanding concept ◦ Understanding self ◦ Changing reading style

13  Skill: main idea reading, faster reading

14  Lecture/discussion format  Review parts of a paragraph/emphasis on main idea ◦ What are the parts of a paragraph? ◦ What does a topic sentence DO? ◦ Supporting sentences? ◦ Conclusion? ◦ What other things make a good paragraph?  Coherence: repeated key words ◦ Do all these apply to an essay, article, chapter? Good readers expect paragraphs to be about one idea!

15 Skills: faster reading, focusing on main ideas, not focusing on words

16 Skills: not reading every word; using context Short reading time = increased speed

17 Skill: use of context to understand vocabulary; not use dictionaries or translation

18 Lots of opportunities to practice “western style” Reading (in class and out)

19 A Short Course in Teaching Reading 2e by B. Mikulecky (2011) Pearson-Longman


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